The BC Wildfire Service says the Meachen Creek wildfire near St Mary Lake is now estimated at 6,996 hectares in size.
This from the latest update on the wildfire situation around Kimberley, as fire crews are preparing to conduct planned ignitions in the Meachen Creek drainage.
The planned burn will remove untouched fuels between the fire and the constructed machine guard on the eastern flank to prevent fire spread.
The timing of the controlled burn will depend on appropriate weather conditions. The BC Wildfire Service says it could occur any time over the next few days and as early as Sunday, August 19th.
A significant smoke column is expected from the controlled burn which could last for several hours. Given the current circumstances with heavy smoke, residents might not even notice and should not be alarmed by the increased smoke.
Crews are working with heavy equipment to build and reinforce machine guard. Aircraft resources will be used as visibility permits. This fire experienced little activity and has remained in the Meachen Creek drainage. The size of this fire has changed due to more accurate mapping. An incident management team is transitioning onto this fire to work toward taking control of the fire.
For detailed information on the Meachen Creek wildfire, visit the Wildfires of Note page on the bcwildfire.ca website or use the following link: http://ow.ly/Swnf30lsHQm
The evacuation order put into place by the Regional District of East Kootenay remains in effect for the St. Mary Lake area, from the west boundary of the City of Kimberley to the Redding Creek/St. Mary River convergence, including St. Mary Lake Road and Lakefront Road.
The evacuation alert remains in effect for the City of Kimberley and properties in the RDEK directly south and southeast of the City of Kimberley municipal boundary.
(Map from the BC wildfire service showing the location of the Meachen Creek wildfire and all current evacuation alerts and orders around the City of Kimberley.)